Francisco Franco a.k.a. El Caudillo: Dictator of Spain from 1939 to 1975

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Francisco Franco

Francisco Franco was the dictator of Spain from 1939 to 1975, including the time of WW2. Perhaps he was better known as "El Caudillo," translated into English as The Leader. He was born and raised in Spain. He was a very brilliant military general who led Nationalist rebels in defeating the Spanish government during the Spanish Civil War. Although he was viewed as a Fascist Dictator, he strongly opposed communism. He was an extremely important figure in the course of world history.

Francisco Paulino Hermenegildo Teodulo Franco Bahamonde, Francisco Franco as he was known, was born on December 4, 1892 at the coastal city of El Ferrel in the region known as Galicia in Northwestern Spain. He was close to his mother during his childhood. His father, older brother, and the four generations before him were naval officers. However, the Naval Academy was full so Franco went into the Army. He enrolled into Infantry Academy at Toledo when he was 14 and graduated three years later.

Franco quickly climbed the ranks of the Spanish Army. He gained a reputation of being a disciplined, honest, and dedicated soldier who was strictly professional. He was promoted to first lieutenant of an elite regiment when he was only 20 years old. He became the youngest captain in the Spanish Army in 1915 at the unprecedented age of 22. He then became second in command to General Jose Millan Astray of the Spanish Foreign Legion in 1920, and was in full command in 1923. In 1926, Franco was promoted to brigadier general at the age of 33. In 1928 he was named director of General Military Academy at Zaragoza. He was recognized as a national hero.

Franco was engaged in 1917. His fiancée was Carmen Polo. Their marriage was delayed, however, because Franco was called back into active duty in Morocco. They would have one daughter, Carmen, together in 1928.

The Spanish Monarchy fell in 1931 and the new government was strongly opposed to the...
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